Saturday, September 10, 2011

"puttanesca" inspired pasta

an easy and quick dinner on a busy weeknight!
Puttanesca is traditionally an Italian sauce made up of anchovies, garlic, capers, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and is served with spaghetti.  The meaning of puttanesca is a little humorous - meaning "whore" - so the original recipe "spaghetti alla puttanseca" means whore's pasta - as the ingredients are easy to get your hands on (probably right in your pantry/fridge).  Or, other sources state that the intense aromas of the sauce mimic the magnetic forces these women have to reel in the men.  Anyway, whatever the story is, this is my version of this dish.  I was literally down to very few items in my fridge and was craving pasta - and having a can of tuna as protein instead of anchovies and olives as my salty component instead of capers - lemon for some freshness - and adding broccoli to cram in some green nutrition.  It turned out quite delicious!

what you need:
*serves 2, with leftovers:)

  • 1 can flaked tuna
  • 1 small broccoli stalk
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful spaghetti pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
what to do:

  1. Get a large pot of water going on the stove to bring to a boil.  
  2. Cut broccoli into small bite size pieces.  Roughly chop garlic, tomatoes and basil.  Zest 1/2 the lemon.
  3. In a pan on medium heat, add olive oil.  Add tomatoes, lemon zest and garlic, be careful not to let the garlic burn.  While the tomatoes are breaking down on the heat, cook broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes, until bright green.  Remove broccoli, reserving the hot water.
  4. Cook the pasta in the same water as the broccoli, until al dante.  
  5. While pasta is cooking, add the broccoli, red pepper flakes, olives, and tuna.  If the pan appears too dry, add a little bit of pasta water (about 1/4 cup at a time).  Mix and season with salt (not too much, as the olives are salty) and pepper.
  6. Once the pasta is done, transfer to pan and toss gently with tuna, broccoli, olives, etc.  Reserve some pasta water to add, in case the sauce is too dry.
  7. Turn off the heat.  Add the basil then transfer to serving dish.  Grate Parmesan cheese on top to finish.  Serve with a slice of lemon to squeeze over pasta right before eating.  Enjoy!

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